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Major Selection

domt73domt73 199 replies14 threads Junior Member
I have a deep interest towards plants and all my EC’s relate to my interest in plants. What major should I apply under, in general?
17 replies
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Replies to: Major Selection

  • domt73domt73 199 replies14 threads Junior Member
    Should it be Environmental Science/Studies? Earth Science? Botany? Help me😭😭😭
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79010 replies701 threads Senior Member
    Depends on the college. Some colleges have a broad biology major covering botany and other subareas, while others have multiple biology majors. You may have to look in each college's catalog to see which major is most suitable for your interests.

    Environmental science may be somewhat interdisciplinary (which may be suitable for your interests, or may not be), and earth science is commonly more geology. But check each college's catalog.
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  • domt73domt73 199 replies14 threads Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus At Georgetown, they have an Environmental Biology Major, so I might look into that. What about environmental studies?
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  • domt73domt73 199 replies14 threads Junior Member
    Plus at CMU, they don’t have environmental science but biological sciences, so I don’t know how that will be @ucbalumnus
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79010 replies701 threads Senior Member
    edited November 28
    Look in each college's catalog description of the major and department web site to see how well it aligns with your interests.
    edited November 28
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 376 replies27 threads Member
    edited November 28
    Like you, I have a spike (if that's the correct term) for ichthyology, fish breeding, and aquatic plants.

    I considered environmental science, environmental biology. However, for plants and botany, I'm sure Ecology and Cellular Biology, along with Ecological and Evolutionary Biology are key majors for botany prospects.
    edited November 28
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  • aquaptaquapt 2097 replies39 threads Senior Member
    What do you want to *do* with that interest, though?

    I mean, yes, there are all of the biological and environmental science type majors that can focus on plants. Is research on the edge of what we know and understand about plant life (on a micro level) what interests you?

    On more of a macro level, there is also the whole cluster of agriculture majors that focus on optimizing the growth and health of plants as crops.

    Or if your interest in plants veers toward their role in planned public spaces, gardens, etc., then landscape architecture would be an option.

    You can select "plants" as your area of interest here and see a range of options in Cornell's ag school: https://cals.cornell.edu/education/degrees-programs
    Plus https://landscape.cals.cornell.edu/

    Also look at the range of majors at SUNY ESF - from biotechnology to conservation biology to landscape architecture to Forest Health https://www.esf.edu/admissions/programs.htm
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  • domt73domt73 199 replies14 threads Junior Member
    @aquapt I want to go into research of plants and I did a lot of things in high school related to plants, part time produce clerk, founder of a few local projects for plants, wrote some short stories about plants, etc. I really enjoy plants and that’s my hobby
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  • domt73domt73 199 replies14 threads Junior Member
    edited November 30
    @HKimPOSSIBLE Should I still look into environmental science also?
    edited November 30
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  • domt73domt73 199 replies14 threads Junior Member
    edited November 30
    @HKimPOSSIBLE I like learning about fruits, vegetables, and plants. I also have some awards in Environmental science (National and State) so I just want to know
    edited November 30
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  • aquaptaquapt 2097 replies39 threads Senior Member
  • dadof2ddadof2d 219 replies14 threads Junior Member
    If you are interested in a LAC, Ohio Wesleyan and Connecticut College both have botany majors.
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  • domt73domt73 199 replies14 threads Junior Member
    @aquapt I feel like environmental science is quite broad and ur right about looking into some programs with agriculture. I replay like Cornell CAS and I’m definitely applying there.

    @dadof2d Should I also look into Environmental Science, Biology, and Environmental Studies also?
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  • domt73domt73 199 replies14 threads Junior Member
  • domt73domt73 199 replies14 threads Junior Member
    I meant Cornell CALS
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  • dadof2ddadof2d 219 replies14 threads Junior Member
    domt73 wrote: »
    @dadof2d Should I also look into Environmental Science, Biology, and Environmental Studies also?

    @domt73
    That would be entirely up to you. I would pay close attention to the course offerings if you are interested in plants/botany. Some bio programs are focused on human biology. You might start researching where botany, ES, and bio majors end up job wise and see what appeals most to you.
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  • aquaptaquapt 2097 replies39 threads Senior Member
    There's really no point debating majors just based on their names. There are several ways to go about this:
    1) Think about what you want to do *after* college. What are the educational requirements to get those jobs or get into those grad programs? Also consider supply and demand. There's a huge oversupply of former premeds with undergrad bio degrees; if you're certain about a more specialized niche, there's no point in ending up with a resume that's indistinguishable from theirs. As I said before, a lot of the best "plant research" opportunities are in the agriculture industry, so a major that will funnel you into recruitment for those opportunities could be the best fit.
    2) Choose a few example colleges and look up the actual course requirements for the majors you're considering. "Enviro" programs are going to emphasize a whole lot of knowledge base beyond what's directly related to plants. (Plants are one component of environmental systems - understanding the systems level is important but how much time do you want to spend studying the ecosystems and social systems and other components of those systems and tools for studying those systems (i.e. GIS)...?) A general biology program will also be very broad and possibly tilt toward the study of human/animal biology. But look for yourself, at what classes you'd actually be taking, and decide if that's the emphasis you want. For that matter you could do marine bio too, and spend your career studying kelp or algae (I know, technically not a plant, but photosynthetic and very important) or whatever.

    I mean, all people can do is point to the options; the only way you'll know what you prefer is by looking more closely at what each would actually entail and where it can take you post-college. All I can suggest is that you not let the quest for the most elite school possible cause you to overlook great options that could steer you directly toward fields of inquiry and research that you would truly love. I mean sure, Cornell is best-of-both-worlds because it has Ivy gravitas *and* an ag school. But I'd encourage you to keep some excellent schools like VT and Purdue in play, and not view Cornell as the only ag school that's "elite" enough to consider. If your interests are "pointy" and you're confident in that, choose a route that fits and values that.
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